RED on Repeat

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xx. Valentine
Zara Parka, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE) | Ann Taylor Sweater, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE) | Ann Taylor Leggings, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE) | Joie OTK Boots | Mango Box Bag, sold out (Similar HERE) | H&M Scarf, sold out (Similar HERE) | Forever 21 Beret, sold out (Similar HERE) | BP Sunglasses (Similar HERE & HERE)
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Mirrored Glasses :: Belted Coat

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xx. Valentine
Sam Edelman Coat, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE) | Ralph Lauren Wool Sweater, sold out (Similar HERE, HERE & HERE) | Levi’s 710 Super Skinny Denim (Similar HERE & HERE) | Banana Republic Boots, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE) | Kate Spade Bag | BP Mirror Sunglasses (Featured HERE; Similar HERE) | Lips : Mac Velvet Teddy

RED :: Zara Tweed

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This is an especially red pair of trousers which reminds me a bit of Christmas. But a little of that holiday outside it’s time frame is never a bad thing. But I’ve had these in my ASOS shopping basket for a month before I decided to purchase it. I bought it believing I would wear it for a Valentine’s date with the boyfriend or a Galentine’s night out. Neither of those happened on the actual day but it’s still a good pair for a 9 to 5 job or because you like to look nice. I’m not a fan of wearing sweat pants for any outing, I believe in the if you look good, you feel good.

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These trousers worked so well with this tweed trim blouse. It’s almost as if they were made as a complementary pair. Zara’s Spring collection has many great pieces this year. I’m actually quite worried for my bank account. LOL. I usually only purchase shoes from Zara online but it’s been a little more than that in the past two months. This blouse just screams chic and feminine, especially with the sleeves extending into this billowy form. I definitely will be getting lots of wear out of it.

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I love how they added ruffles extending from the collar. It’s like a feminine, airy version from the times of Versailles. Something you’d see King Louis wear (without the tweed of course).

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What’s most exciting is that Spring is in the air. It’s been snowing here and there in the Midwest, but I believe it’s on it’s way out. I’m already shopping for Spring pieces with no where to wear them yet.
Have you cleared your winter wardrobe yet?
xx. Valentine
Blank NYC Moto Jacket, old (Similar HERE & HERE) | Zara Tweed Trim Blouse | ASOS Petite Trousers | Charles David Heels (Similar HERE & HERE) | Kate Spade Bag, old (Similar HERE & HERE) | BP Sunglasses, old (Similar HERE)

Reworking a Winter Wardrobe

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Winter is my least favorite season or should I say I wouldn’t mind it if it didn’t exist. Or maybe it should only exist on Christmas and when I’m inside by a warm fireplace. This is only because I absolutely dislike shopping for a winter wardrobe; nothing which comes into the fashion market during this time really excites me except for the few pieces here, some cozy sweaters and coats. So I’ve had to find ways to rework my wardrobe to keep my creativity flowing.

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This first piece that I have restyled many times (and not just for the winter season) is a great jacket or blazer. I absolutely love structure, especially when it also has a great fit because of my petite frame. Below are what I am coveting right now:
Shein – Pearl Bead Tweed Blazer (HERE & HERE) | Talbots – Checked Blazer | Talbots – Velveteen Blazer | WYLDER – Sequin Blazer | J.Crew – Parke Blazer | Ralph Lauren – Herringbone Blazer
Halogen – Leather Moto Jacket | Lafeyette 148 – Lyndie Jacket | WHBM – Tweed Jacket

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A second favorite piece and also great for layering is a mock neck or turtleneck sweater. These work amazingly tucked into a pair of trousers, skirt or half-tucked into faux (vegan is my fav) leather leggings. Some of my favorites are by H&M (bargain prices) and Lauren Ralph Lauren (more pricey but amazing quality).
H&M : Fine-knit Turtleneck, Ribbed Mock Sweater, Mohair-blend Turtleneck | Lauren Ralph Lauren : Striped Turtlneck, Turtleneck Sweater
Below are some more of my fav’s that are in fun, interesting prints and cuts.
Tory Burch – Retractable Turtlneck | Calvin Klein – Convertible Turtleneck Sweater | Michael Kors – Distressed Turtleneck (also featured HERE) | A.L.C. – Cropped Turtleneck

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My third loved piece I have reworked lots this season are my vegan leather leggings. It’s funny how I used to think wearing “leather” was over the top … until I got into my first “leather” jacket and WOW! Did everything change. Never say never right? .. But again, don’t get into something just because everyone else is into it. Make sure it fits you and your style first.
Here are some of my favorite faux/vegan leather leggings/pants. Also keep in mind I like a particular shine which is semi-matte. It looks more real and not plastic-like.
Free People – Vegan Leather Leggings | David Verner – Vegan Leather Leggings | Aqua – Faux Leather Trim Leggings | Nasty Gal – Vegan Leather Pants
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My vegan leather leggings are always tucked into the boots with a form fitting sweater or oversized one, half tucked into one side. A majority of my tops are always half-tucked because they extend my legs and defines my waist/silhouette. It’s also another detail to add interest to the outfit.

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And the last item on my list I have worked to death in this weather are two ankle boots. I’ve interchanged between two kinds this season. One of which is suede and the other is leather. The suede ones are by Banana Republic and is pictured in this post. Sadly, they are no longer available since they were from two seasons ago. And the Grazie Studded Bootie are by Calvin Klein. You’ll find below other booties that I am keenly interested in purchasing as well.
H&M – Leather ankle boots (in beige) | Franco Sarto – Faux-fur Trim Ankle Boots | IRO – Iro Amliss Ankle Boots | Reiss – Zoe Ankle Boot | Carvela – Granite Faux Pearl Embellished Ankle Boots
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I wear these booties with leggings tucked into them, or with trousers/jeans that hit higher on the ankle so there is just a bit of skin showing between the shoe and pant. Another way I where them is with a skirt and light black tights.

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I hope you found these tips useful and maybe new some pieces may end up in your wardrobe as well. Thank you for reading!
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xx. Valentine
H&M Blazer, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE) | H&M Sweater | **WHBM Vegan Leather Leggings, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE)| Loewe Barcelona Dupe (featured HERE) | Banana Republic Boots, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE) | BP Sunglasses (Similar HERE & HERE)
**White House Black Market

In the Details: The Outlet Gem

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I’ve always been a shopper at Outlet Malls because the prices are unbeatable. So when I got into the game of shopping this one particular outlet store, I honestly don’t know why I waited so long. I was introduced to Opitz Outlet where they sell designer brands at 70% off retail. It’s incredible what you can find in here and they’re all one of a kind pieces that are no longer available outside of this shop.
Within this place is where I found this wool skirt. It was originally 92.00 and I purchased it for 52.00, which is a steal for something 100% wool. And no, the skirt is NOT at all scratchy which is a HUGE plus. The downside was how big the skirt ran against my small frame. It’s labeled a size 0 but it fit like a size 4 so I went ahead and tailored it myself. I am definitely happy with how it turned out. It’s like the skirt was made just for me!

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Outlet stores are honestly the greatest things. I used to be employed by a shop within an outlet strip and I learned so much about how outlet prices and retail prices work. Which is where I credit my ability to know quality at a low price. This made me view fashion in a different way where you don’t have to pay full price for material items when you could pay half.
I also learned as an employee then that full price items often make their way into outlet stores between 3 to 6 months after it debuts; sometimes it’s 9 months after. And it’s because they had inventory that didn’t sell or it was some or the only one left from a past season. Which, in my opinion, a material item can still work even if trends come and go. I’m a big believer in not following all the trends you see out there. At most, I’ve only ever found myself following between 2 to 3.

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The trends that do happen just don’t all appeal to me at once. And I find that you don’t have an absolute style of your own when you have all the trends piled on together. But I am not bashing any of the trend leaders out there because I’ve seen some style bloggers do a phenomenal job at it. I usually take one or two trends that cohesively work together and pair it with classic pieces.
Opitz Outlet is a great place to shop but it is a hit or miss too. This little wool skirt was a HUGE hit and it defines a lot about my style. It’s feminine, chic and trendy and it’s something I would wear over and over, all styled in many ways. And the grommet details won’t appeal to a lot of people but I believe it adds character to the classic A-line silhouette of this skirt. I’ve found a new love for Opitz Outlet.
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xx. Valentine
Tahari Wrap Coat | Cliche Sweater, sold out | Wool Skirt, Opitz Outlet| Joie OTK Boots (Featured HERE & HERE) | Kate Spade Bag, sold out (Similar HERE, HERE & HERE) | BP Sunglasses, sold out (Similar HERE, HERE & HERE)

The Iconic Color

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 I LOVE camel-colored anything when it comes to outerwear. It’s versatility pairs perfectly well with just about any outfit. But what I find important is the quality. I’ve owned a few camel colored trench coats in the past and about 90% of them were of a cheaper material. Which probably explains why I’ve owned many.
The one pictured is by Banana Republic which was my first quality, camel-colored coat. I love how BR creates their pieces perfectly tailored for Petites. Someone of my size always has a hard time finding anything to fit without running to the tailor. When I do go in to have a piece tailored, I make sure I am going to wear it more than eight times in a month, which is twice a week. Cost-per-wear is really important to me because I would rather keep something, that fits perfectly well, for years as opposed to a piece that is ill-fitting.

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The second quality piece I’ve purchased was my BR trench coat. I wore it until it turned a grey brown and had only washed it a handful of times. BR definitely makes great pieces and is a place I find myself always sifting through.

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The last quality piece I’ve purchased was the J. Crew Iconic Trench Coat (featured HERE). I actually didn’t even think about J. Crew until I saw their catalog while sitting at the clinic. After my BR one was laid to rest, I had to get my hands on another coat fast. BR is great but I wanted to try a different brand. I’ve seen the Burberry one but didn’t want to drop $1800.00. And so I looked at high street brands like ASOS and River Island and had no luck or the quality just wasn’t there.
So I took a chance with J. Crew, wincing at the prices while flipping through the pages and then there it was, as beautiful on paper as it was in person. This was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made because of it’s quality, of course, and it was on a sale for Black Friday. It was a sign so I snagged it quick. This one is definitely going to be around for years.
Thank for reading! Let me know what you think about quality vs. quantity? Which category do you stand with?
xx – Valentine.
Banana Republic Coat, sold out (Similar HERE, HERE & HERE) | Shein Applique Tee |  Ann Taylor Skirt, sold out (Similar HERE, HERE & HERE) | Charles David Heels, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE) | Zara Bag, sold out | BP Mirror Aviators (Similar HERE & HERE) | Forever 21 Studs, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE)

 

New Year, New Me

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WhoWhatWear Cardigan, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE) | Lauren Ralph Lauren Turtleneck | Levi’s 710 Super Skinny Jeans | Goodnight Macaroon OTK Boots, in color: cognac (Similar HERE, HERE & HERE) | Micheal Kors Bedford, sold out | BP Mirror Aviators, sold out (Featured HERE; Similar HERE, HERE & HERE) | 3CE Mood Lip Color, in Matte #114 Rows 

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Last year happened so quick consisting of many ups and downs. I’ve heard and seen a lot of “how great 2017 has been” and vice versa. What I didn’t see coming was the death of my younger brother. It still pains me to think about how swift suicide comes in and captures someone. 2017, was the worst year for me.
But here we are in a brand new year, with 365 days to make it great. I am able to write new pages to my life from what I’ve encountered in the last year and what I can do to improve it. I am determined to pass along more kindness and courage. And I am aggressively more determined to make each day count. Death is such a sad story, but from it I have also learned the meaning of life. Never have I magnified into my memories, big or small. There were great times from what I can recollect, but the Polaroids are missing; the smiles from yesteryear, the still laughs, the silly poses .. the people who made those moments, THE MOMENT in that space and time.

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I indict myself for the lack of capturing people. places and time. I am oblivious to a life behind the camera when it comes to the things I just want to enjoy. I got used to the blinking ever so often just to capture enough of it into the files of my mind. This little home I’ve grown into, even the crevices have a say, are used to one directional warmth. So it’s time to spread the contentment a little further and expand the walls.
This expansion will be different though. As a closet introvert, I find change to be scary. It’s not the activity but the unnerving outcome I want to see first. So it’s ironic that I enjoy spontaneous adventures. In my post HERE, I briefly mention the state my mind swims in. I’m an anxious individual that thrives on structure because my anxiety takes on it’s own character when I derail. The definition of structure in my home is comfort. It’s not needing to be afraid because I know where everything lies. But change will be good.

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2018 is about looking at myself in a new light. It’s about making things grow bigger and better. It’s also making amends with things of last year. I’ve never committed myself to resolutions and there’s never been a specific reason until now. I’ve sat cradled comfortably for quite too long, and now I’m looking for more to life. If I could tell my 18 year old self a few things, it would be to :
1. Never take anything too seriously because life happens and plans change.
2. Embrace the good, the bad and the weird because they make you, You.
 3. Your timeline is different from everyone else so don’t needlessly compare.
4. Take in the sunshine, enjoy some calming tea and meditate (to my forever anxious self).
5. Live.

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xx – Valentine.

Cherry Plaid & Little Beret

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Topshop Moto Jacket, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE) | H&M Turtleneck| Halogen Plaid Skirt, sold out (Similar HERE, HERE & HERE) | Joie OTK Boots | F21 Beret (Similar HERE) | Maybelline Colorsensational Pencil Liner
Christmas may be over but I am still so in love with this skirt! This piece was such a huge success during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale back in August but I wanted to wear it for the holidays so it’s now just coming out to play. It doesn’t sport too much of the Christmas vibe which makes it perfect for any day in the Winter season. Though it was such a big hit, I was a little sad upon receiving it in the mail. It was HUGE on me even as an XS.

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The waistline down to the hem ran at least 2-3 inches wider which resulted in a lot of tailoring. But what’s great about Nordstrom is their tailoring service. I took it back to the store shortly after it arrived and had it done there. The tailor that assisted me was extremely helpful. Due to the fact that we had so much to take off, we needed to keep it’s slight A-line shape in tact. And I believe she did a wonderful job when I went to pick it up at the end of the week. It fit like a glove and kept it’s shape.

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Thank you for reading! Now on to 2018.

xx. Valentine